Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 26th

This is the team. On Friday we went on a field trip to the Blackland
Research Center.

We met Dr. Polley and he took us out to the research area and showed us the biodomes in which they were growing plants in different carbon dioxide and soil conditions. There were three types of soil: A sandy type from Bastrop, a condensed clay type from Houston, and a plain clay type from Austin.

There are two rows of biospheres. One row has carbon dioxide concentrations from 200 years ago to the present. The other has current carbon dioxide levels up to what scientists predict the carbon dioxide levels will be 50 years in the future.

Dr. Polley also showed us some of the equipment that he was using for the research.

Several of the meters recorded the temperature of the various biodomes. When the temperature passed a certain level, it would squirt chilled water through the bottom of the biodomes to prevent the plants from overheating.

We asked him several highly intelligent questions about carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and how it relates to the climate and plant growth. We took notes on the answers to our questions.

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